Fly or cancel? Meet friends out or stay home? Go to the gym or walk, or ride your Peloton instead? Social distance? What? There are a lot of questions in all of our minds right now about coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Like most medical and health care professionals of whom I follow, I cannot tell you what to do or not to do about travel, going out, social distancing, and such. I can, however, implore you now, more than ever, to take care of yourself – or in wellness lexicon: tend to your self-care.
Self-care will help your body get or remain strong, aid your immune system, and give you that extra “armor” we all need now to prevent ourselves from getting really sick.
Self-care is all about actions you take to support your physical, mental, and emotional health. It is foundational to your health and wellness routine because right now, again more than ever, it can help you manage stress. You’ve read my blogs enough to know stress is very dangerous to your physical health.
Here are five of my Top 10 ways you can care for you and do your best to build your immunity:
It is not the time to stay up watching your latest Hulu or Netflix obsession. It is the time to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep.
While you sleep, your body recovers massively from your stressful day. It turns inward to recover all that you’ve asked from it.
Additionally, ample – uninterrupted – sleep helps to regulate the body’s immune function, is associated with reducing the risk of getting colds and respiratory infections. Sleep deprivation leads to increased cortisol levels, which when elevated for prolonged periods, can lead to suppressing your immune function.
Stress can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and a bunch of really unpleasant physical and emotional challenges. Yet, it can also negatively impact your immune system if left unchecked.
In the short-term, stress can make you feel anxious, irritable, or hangry. In the long-term, it can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease among many other illnesses.
So, today, it is tough to hear we are at risk for serious illness that seems to be spreading so quickly around our beloved town. Worrying excessively about it will not make it go away. So not only does stress do a number on your body, it can wreck-havoc on your immune system and make things worse than they needed to be.
Now is the time to check in with your most important organ, your brain, to keep it happy. Tend to it, care for it, love it. It will pay you back in ways that can lead to a much more fulfilled and contended existence. Cut the “to do” list!
Maybe now you will take me up on starting your Epsom Salt bath habit!
Now is the time to increase the consumption of fruits and veggies. The fruits and veggies below are a short list of some really good sources of immune-boosting properties:
Action overcomes anxiety. Movement aids in building bones, burning calories, yes, yet did you know it also helps your hormones? You know I am crazy about strength training by now. Getting strong leads to strong thoughts and strong decisions too.
Exercise can put things in perspective. Ever left an exercise class, tennis match, or finish a road race in a bad mood?
Exercise helps alleviate any stress. So, keeping or building a consistent exercise program can help you get through this uncertain time. Exercise also:
While you should always pay attention to any quarantine protocols, if you are able to get outside for a bit, the sunlight will do you good. Getting outside for even three – five minutes will give you a good dose of Vitamin D! When we head outside during the daylight, we channel to our circadian rhythm it is daylight and we want that precious sunlight that triggers the production of Vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D receptors “live” on our immune cells and as a result have an important impact on our immune system. Higher levels of Vitamin D are associated with reduced risk of respiratory infections.
Go crazy: combine #4 and #5. And don’t forget you can get a free 30-minute consult with me about my concierge wellness program that is changing lives – for good.
Stay tuned for five more wellness must dos next week.
Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.
Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314